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Driving technology forward

Published:  07 February, 2014

Both Siemens Industry and HMK have a network of established partners within Scotland and Northern England. With in-depth engineering and project expertise, ODEE takes a look at how this partnership is helping to address the oil, gas and renewable sectorsí needs and also to maximise the irreplaceable skills of partners within the industries.

The oil, gas and renewables sector is a primary Scottish industry making a significant economic and industrial contribution to the UK, providing substantial opportunities for investment in Scotland and the North East of England.

Many years of oil and gas production have created a strong supply chain, a skilled workforce, a renowned academic sector and a well-developed energy infrastructure. This background lies behind the current expanding skills and knowledge transfer now supporting the rapid growth and impact of Scotlandís renewable energy industry.

Industry in general is investigating and implementing new and innovative technology platforms to help make better use of energy and also increases or improves the productivity of their process. The oil, gas and renewables sector is part of this and is increasingly turning to drive and motion control technology to address such important issues.

Typical applications for these industries such as winching, cable and pipe laying systems and render/recovery equipment, all require high levels of accurate control.

Traditional solutions have involved hydraulic systems, with resulting disadvantages such as reliability, weight and environmental impact caused by leakage of fluid or reduced efficiencies.

The alternative approach has been the adoption of variable speed drive (VSD) and motion control technology. This technology platform offers enhanced and wide-ranging benefits that not only mitigate the issues associated with a hydraulic based control, but enhance productivity performance and energy use reductions.

Such benefits are typical when drive and motion technology is used, and is already proven in a variety of industries across the world. Using innovative communication protocols such as Profinet, ensures accurate and essential data can be acquired from the process providing increased control of the application, and increased diagnostic capability.

Energy optimisation and efficiency is also dramatically improved. This is achieved by the drive modules using only the electrical energy required for the load and intelligently managing its usage via functionality within the electric drives. By this method, energy consumption can be reduced by as much as 50%.


Safety of both personnel and equipment is paramount throughout the oil and gas sector. Being able to address these requirements is critical. One of the key features of modern drive and motion technology is the ability to use the safety functions inside the electrical drives. This can reduce costs of initial project capital, but also ensure the user has the premier modern day solution, with the correct standards approval.

Lifecycle costs

By having an integrated approach to the needs of the industry, this allows for a reduction in lifecycle costs from conception through to obsolescence. A key feature of being able to implement these benefits is the correct sizing and specification of motion and drive systems, which allows the user to fully implement the benefits available. A combination of technology knowledge from expert partners and, a strategic approach based upon a holistic overview of the customer requirements, is having a real impact for an industry sector having to operate as efficiently and as safely as possible to maintain a competitive advantage.

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